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Summary

Solve for Happy is a startlingly original book about creating and maintaining happiness, written by a top Google executive with an engineer's training and fondness for thoroughly analyzing a problem.

In 2004 Mo Gawdat, a remarkable thinker whose gifts had landed him top positions in half a dozen companies and who - in his spare time - had created significant wealth, realized that he was desperately unhappy. A lifelong learner, he attacked the problem as an engineer would, examining all the provable facts and scrupulously following logic. When he was finished, he had discovered the equation for enduring happiness.

Ten years later that research saved him from despair when his college-age son, Ali - also intellectually gifted - died during routine surgery. In dealing with the loss, Mo found his mission: he would pull off the type of moonshot that he and his Google [X] colleagues were always aiming for - he would help 10 million people become happier by pouring his happiness principles into a book and spreading its message around the world.

One of Solve for Happy's key premises is that happiness is a default state. If we shape expectations to acknowledge the full range of possible events, unhappiness is on its way to being defeated. To steer clear of unhappiness traps, we must dispel the six illusions that cloud our thinking (e.g., the illusion of time, of control, and of fear); overcome the brain's seven deadly defects (e.g., the tendency to exaggerate, label, and filter); and embrace five ultimate truths (e.g., change is real, now is real, unconditional love is real).

By means of several highly original thought experiments, Mo helps listeners find enduring contentment by questioning some of the most fundamental aspects of their existence.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying photographs will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Mo Gawdat (P)2016 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

What members say

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fantastic narrative of a complex subject made easy

Loved it!! I foresee this becoming as renowned as "the power of now" but much easier to listen to and understand. fantastic metaphysical book told through a very personal story and logic.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Excellent...up until the last chapter

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Delete the chapter on God. When I first started listening to this book I thought it was fascinating, insightful and endearing. Mo's story and his logical approach to finding the solution to his happiness was convincing and I was totally sold...Until I read his chapter on God. Out of the window went the logic, reason and insight and in came a set of arguments that were so misinformed it made me angry. it was like I was listening to an audio tour at a creation museum.I was so disappointed that someone who's ideas and arguments seemed so intelligent and persuading throughout the rest of the book resorted to the weak and uninformed arguments of a young earth believer.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

His approach to thinking about what really matters was inspiring, his opinions on a higher power were not.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

yes, the narration and passion was felt throughout.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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One Of The Best - No, Actually THE Best

Where does Solve for Happy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This will become a classic. It's easy to listen to, intelligent, fresh, and most of all very personal and touching. I will listen to this over and over, as there is so much in it.

What did you like best about this story?

The intelligence, the new perspectives and the enlightenment flowing from it. I've read literally hundreds of this type of book. From now on, this is the only one I'll recommend to others.

Which character – as performed by Mo Gawdat – was your favourite?

na

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Lots of moving moments, but the mathematical analysis of randomness in evolution was (for me) something that changed everything for me.

Any additional comments?

Thanks, Mo, for putting this into words. It was an honour to hear it in your own voice.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Little bit disappointed..

This book has some interesting concepts in it. I enjoyed listening to the author and I respect that he has found an equation that works for him. However for me there were too many places in this book that contradict. I would forgive these contradictions if the book didn't start from a science and maths approach and then try to prove god and afterlife by an initial distortion of a scientific theory and then layering on maths to develop the distortion. For instance the book’s “many random events that created the universe” against “an intelligent designer”. I'd don't think anyone would view evolution or the universe as random, there are forces/rules/laws guiding it...just not an “intelligently” aware being... I understand why he has built this mental model to help him be happy and some of what he wrote will help me be happier. I am grateful having listened to the book and thank him for writing it. However, the solution he came to for dealing with afterlife won’t work for me and I’ll keep on searching.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Extremely disappointed by ending.

This book was fantastic until religion was unnecessarily brought into it. I felt like i truly found a helpful no nonsense self help book but by the end i felt like the author was trying to convert me rather than help me. Absolutely ruined the book for me.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful

Any additional comments?

This book is touching and contains very practical advise. Many of the ideas are in the vein of Eckhart Tolle but explored from an engineering point of view. This is truly illuminating. I was already a little happier before I'd even gotten half way through.
The reason I'm not giving it the full 5 stars is because of the descent towards the end into some brazenly fallacious arguments around intelligent design. This was dispiriting as I knew all the common rebuttals to these and it began to seem like he was selling rather giving. However this does not negate brilliance of what came before. It has actually prepared me to be more skeptical on a the second listen. Which I'll probably do right away.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Life changing!

I was recommended this book by a client of mine and I am so grateful for the recommendation. This story is so powerful and Mo’s views on life and death have been simply life changing for me. I’ve always had an agnostic outlook but Mo’s views on whether we are just here as a chance event or by design have really resonated with me. I’ve listened to the various beliefs and religions, but nothing has struck a chord with me like this book has.

I am so grateful for Mo presenting his thoughts and beliefs in such a clear way for others to benefit. He’s had to experience a hugely challenging situation and to turn that whole situation into something for the huge benefit of others is just amazing.

Thank you for this book Mo.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wholeheartedly recommended reading.

As part of an holistic approach to better mental and physical health of nations, this book should be made available on prescription, enabling those suffering who present to their medical practitioners - and a host of other mainstream therapeutic portals - first line access to this fountain of wisdom. Invaluable health education for all ages and stages of life. A pivotal step on the path to recovery, a healthier mind, life and the lives of others affected. Excellent... you'll read it again and again. Thankyou sincerely.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Happiness is baby Pookie

No stone has been left unturned. The answer to happiness is baby Pookie. Thank you for sharing your son with us. He is still teaching and guiding others through you. My tears flowed when you talked of him and I could feel the ache in your voice and how you miss him. Beautiful heartfelt words and reasonings which simply make sense. Thank you

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Mindset Development

I enjoyed the concept of happiness being approached from a scientific, empirical perspective. Although it does not completely fulfil this concept and instead approaches the concept from a philosophical and cognitive psychosocial perspective, it still developed my understanding of my own mind.

If you believe you already have a great understanding of your mind and how your innate psychology interact to effect your conscious mindset, then there are fewer lessons to be learned. However, even for those who do, the read is great for development.

Overall, the book is defiantly worth reading, I learned more about who I am as in the voice inside my head and I also learned about some evidence based data for creator theory which is exciting when analysing with objective thought.

Worth the read and I look forward to a second if one is ever published.

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  • JulietC
  • 14-10-17

Life-changing and moving

Too much foto a single listening, need to listen ti it again to fully appreciate.
In the meantime, a heartfelt huge thank you to the author for sharing his research on happyness so clearly and sincerely. A big hug and thank you again. Awesome job

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Niel
  • 26-07-17

1 of the Top 3 best books i have listened to

I enjoyed the authors voice , a very calming authentic human voice , the book offers both insight into practical steps to take to be happy , i especially enjoyed listening to the parts about his son Ali , it sounds like Ali was such a wonderful young man that understand alot more about humanity as well , really good to see and feel how much love existed between Mo and his son Ali , wonderful book have already recommended to so many people - goes beyond the normal western approaches and i could relate to . Thank you Mo Gawdat .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • William Kristjánsson
  • 13-07-17

Mo Gawdat solved my happiness equation

Mo inspired me with his sincere and honest stories. I owe him everything. Thank you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Roland Wamara
  • 04-08-18

Great book!

The book provides an understanding of life principles and happiness in ways that most books cannot convey. The engineering approach to happiness mixed with an emotional story of who and what inspired the author makes this book one that anyone can relate to. I would recommend this to anyone. Thanks Mo!

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  • Anirudh Maitra
  • 14-05-18

A life changing book. I would recommend it highly.

It really teaches you the meaning of life and how to be happy in the face of adversity and challenge. must read..

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  • Teh Yicai
  • 20-02-18

i looked for a far superior version of myself,

and the book he would write.. thf hvdf dhbc eyvv xbhd dgvc eyv sgjv ghj